• 1 1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 2 Pharmaceutical Services Division, Penang State Health Department, Penang, Malaysia
  • 3 3 Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
  • 4 4 School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway, Malaysia
  • 5 5 Pharmacy, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
Ther Innov Regul Sci, 2017 Jul;51(4):480-485.
PMID: 30227053 DOI: 10.1177/2168479017696266


BACKGROUND: There is a need for a collation and comparison of the content of the mobile medical applications (apps) to allow health care professionals to know precisely which app they can rely on to gain access to appropriate drugs references. This study aims to evaluate the features of mobile medical apps based on 3 major functions: Dosage recommendation, drug adverse Reaction, And Drug Interaction (DoReADI).

METHOD: A review and comparison of mobile apps available in Google's Play Store (Android system) and Apple's App Store (iOS system) were performed. The comparison was based on the availability of options, especially DoReADI functionalities. The assessment criteria were as follows: requirement for an Internet connection, subscription fee charged, size of app, dose recommendation, drug indication, dose calculator, drug picture, dose adjustment, pregnancy safety, interaction checker, interaction classification, clinical teaching advice, contraindicated drug, black box warning, adverse effect, contraindication or precaution, as well as toxicology and pharmacology information.

RESULTS: Eight mobile medical apps were included and used to compare their features and functionalities. The 4 apps that scored the highest (14/17 points) are: Lexicomp®, Epocrates®, Micromedex®, and ®. Lexicomp and Micromedex do not provide the image of the drug and have an access subscription fee. Epocrates does not provide interaction classification and clinical teaching advice, and occupies a large space in the memory to be installed. Meanwhile, My Blue Book® scored the lowest (9/17 points) because certain features such as toxicology information, drug interaction, clinical teaching advice, contraindicated drug, and black box warning were not included.

CONCLUSION: Based on the features assessment criteria of each mobile medical application, Lexicomp, Epocrates, Micromedex, and are the apps that scored the highest. Epocrates and Micromedex are useful for checking drug interactions. In addition, some of the apps have additional features for the DoReADI criteria, for example, dose calculator and interaction classification.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.